MATILDA MacIntyre loves to sing and dance .

Her auntie IS Clare Grogan, after all, and her parents are well-known Scottish musicians Katy Lironi and Douglas MacIntyre, so it is no huge surprise she fell in love with performing.

But on holiday in Italy in 2015, the Lanarkshire schoolgirl discovered songwriting for the first time. The result is Invisible, her debut single, which will be released on World Down’s Syndrome Day on March 21.

Matilda, 17, who has Down’s Syndrome, says: “I feel happy about my song. I really like the words.”

Katy, of The Secret Goldfish and The Fizzbombs, explains: “Matilda wrote the song while we were on holiday and we haven’t been able to return since then. She wanted to record it to remind her of happier times and to celebrate WDSD.”

Matilda writing songs on holiday in Italy

Matilda writing songs on holiday in Italy

Invisible will be available for streaming and download from a range of platforms and all funds raised will go to Down’s Syndrome Scotland, the only charity in Scotland which specifically supports people with Ds and their families at every stage of life.

Matilda, from Strathaven, engaged the services of her older sister Amelia on backing vocals. Amelia is a former student of Riverside Music College and has performed at Celtic Connections and Sandfest, a 2018 fundraising concert for Down’s Syndrome Scotland at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall featuring The Bluebells, Altered Images, Justin Currie and James Grant.

Matilda opened the concert, along with Choir 21, a group of young people with Ds, backed by her dad, Douglas (who has performed with Lloyd Cole, Love and Money and a host of other Scottish acts.) Douglas is now Assistant Principal overseeing music courses at Riverside College

Matilda with her dad Douglas MacIntyre (second left), and other stars of Sandfest 2018 (left to right) Ken McCluskey, James Grant and Grahame Skinner. Pic: Kirsty Anderson

Matilda with her dad Douglas MacIntyre (second left), and other stars of Sandfest 2018 (left to right) Ken McCluskey, James Grant and Grahame Skinner. Pic: Kirsty Anderson

“For the first 10 years or so of her life Matilda was almost impossible to contain – clambering over balconies, disappearing into lifts, sprinting round corners in foreign streets, she caused us many an anxious hour or so,” says Katy.

“Then her teen years hit and she became almost impossible to motivate or inspire. I know it’s similar with many teens, but Matilda’s extra chromosome can make the stages that little bit more extreme and protracted. But the last time we were in Selvone she surprised us all with her sudden and prolific love of song writing.

“By the end of that afternoon in Lago Selva, the words were written and the video was underway.”

During the first lockdown, with holidays out of the question, Matilda resurrected her song and enlisted the help of younger sister Flora to shoot a garden video.

READ MORE: Matilda's kitchen concerts help music lovers beat lockdown blues

Winter lockdown has not been so easy, admits Katy, adding: “We know how lucky she is, surrounded by siblings, she hasn’t experienced real isolation.

“There are certainly days where she lives in her pjs, glued to her phone, watching Glee and musicals on repeat; days when she meltdowns at the near constant squabbling of her siblings. All we can do is dream of that distant future when we may sit on the banks of Lago Selva once more and she gets the solitude and space to write more heartfelt songs.”

Katy adds: “We hope Matilda’s single will raise awareness of the many and varied abilities of people with Down’s syndrome and the amazing things that can be achieved when the right support and encouragement is put in place.”